Half Marathon Prep

My second half marathon is in 17 days. I’m starting to get ready…both mentally and physically. I realized the other day that there are things I do, a lot of them without really thinking about them. I figured I would share them all with you!

1. No new foods. For the two weeks leading up to a big race, I eat nothing that I haven’t eaten before. I don’t want to risk any kind of gut upset. The last week, sometimes I will add one carb in a day. Before my last half, I went to Panera, got a half dozen plain bagels, popped them in the freezer, and ate one a day with my afternoon coffee leading up to the race. I don’t know if this helped, but I do love me a good bagel!

2. Wear my Garmin. Since I have my Vivofit, which doubles as my every day watch, I don’t usually wear my Garmin 220 unless I’m going to run. However, in the two weeks or so leading up to the race, I will find myself putting it on for the day. One of my big mantras for the spring half was “remember your training.” I was conquering a distance I had never done before, and yet I knew I was ready because I had put in the time. By wearing my Garmin, I can look back on those big training runs, those fast speedwork sessions, and all the happy easy runs in between.

3. Get the playlist ready. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to my music. I have a couple of songs that have been on my playlist for over a year. I’m not someone who is constantly needing new music for my runs. However, I do add a couple new songs every now and then. Here’s my current playlist that I will use on October 12th. It’s bugging me that there are only 19 songs…I need an even 20.

pfm playlist

4. Stretch and foam roll, even on the days that you don’t run. I often neglect my stretching, but I make a point to do it before a race. I do sun salutations when I wake up and I am foam roll everything, especially my back which likes to hold race tension.

5. Sleep. I try to get to bed a bit earlier the few nights before. I never sleep well the night before a race, so it’s nice to have some sleep banked.

Those are probably the top five things I focus on to get ready for a half marathon. I had a good race last time, minus the whole foot thing. I hope this time is even better.

What do YOU do to get ready for a big race??

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Twenty-Eight

Life is crazy. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you just want to sit and cry. Sometimes you want to jump up and down with happiness. You have good days and bad days…good weeks and bad weeks. Last week was one of the best weeks, but the week before that found me deep in a pit of despair. It’s funny how life works out like that.

So the last time I wrote I was getting ready to start job number 2. My first day was great. A bit chaotic, learning all of the new routines. But lunch and recess duty isn’t new to me, so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed. I went into the weekend, ready to relax and face my first week juggling two jobs on top of being a wife, mom, and runner.

My body had other ideas. Sunday night into Monday I battled what appeared to be a 24 hour tummy bug. Who calls in sick their second day of work? Oh right…me. I woke up Tuesday with a happier tummy, but I noticed my throat was scratchy. I chalked it up to allergies. Wednesday morning, however, I woke up with knives in my throat, a nasty fever, and body aches that rivaled last year’s flu outbreak. I headed straight to my doctor’s walk-in hours and waited in line at 7:30am. Welcome to “Strep Throat City”….population me. I’ve NEVER had strep before…EVER. I can say it was probably in the top 3 sickest moments of my life. The antibiotic couldn’t kick in fast enough. I called in sick to both jobs again on Wednesday and again on Thursday. I’m doing good my first week as a lunchroom para. By Friday, I was feeling mostly normal again. I took the entire week off of running. The last time I did that was the week after my last half marathon when I hurt my foot. I don’t like not running. I wallowed in self pity. I was a mess. And I was worried about the week to come.

Last Sunday night, I wrote a facebook status that the theme of the coming week was “back in the saddle.” And it was!

28miles

See that 28…that was last week’s running. I didn’t realize until Monday morning that it was my highest week EVER. It’s amazing what a little positive thinking can do. I even felt like I eased myself into the week. I did 5 miles on Monday, 4 + 2(with John) on Tuesday, took Wednesday and Thursday off to catch up on the house, ran 3 on Friday, and did 13 on Saturday. Boom…28 miles! It adds up quick!

Saturday I ran the half marathon course preview with GoRun’s Start 2 Finish group. The course is very different than the spring course. I would call it an out and back loop. It’s a FAST course, the first half is slightly uphill and the second half is almost all downhill. It should be good for Noel and I wanting to get a big PR!

Well, I better get off the computer and on to my day! I had to redo my blog theme because a couple of things were messing up after the last round of updates. Let me know if you find anything amiss!

I give up…

Remember when I said that having both boys in school would leave me lots of time to blog. WRONG! I don’t really know where my time goes. I don’t.

I think I’m in week 10 of half marathon training. I’d like to catch you up on my training, but those posts are boring. And this one would be REALLY boring because my training has pretty much sucked lately. I need to find my mojo. I vaguely remember having a slump during this part of the training plan last time around. I need to snap out of it and put running higher on my priority list.

If you really do want to see how my training has gone these last three weeks, you can check out my Daily Mile account. There’s a little widget on the right side over there. Ok…so it’s pretty big as far as widgets go. Right now it’s telling me I’m lame and that I’ve only done 3 miles so far this week. LAME!

Anyway, so what else has been going on besides NOT running that has kept me from updating this little blog. Well, I start job number two tomorrow and had to jump through all the pre-employment hoops. This included a pre-employment physical in a doctor’s office that I’m pretty sure is the biggest time suck I have ever encountered in my life. I waited an hour for an appointment that took 5 minutes. And then two days later I waited 45 minutes to have a nurse look at my arm and say, “Nope, you don’t have TB!” Thanks, but I could have told you that. I think TB would have been apparent on all these runs I like to do.

I also went in the search of pants. Here’s the good news…I am officially a size FOUR. I have NEVER been a size 4. NEVER EVER. So that’s exciting. The bad news…I’m short. I have big thighs. Boot cut looks silly on me. Skinny pants seem to be made for runner legs, but even the ankle ones touch the floor. Ugh. I finally caved and bought ankle jeggings from Walmart. They were clearance for $5. Are you a jeggings fan? I’m kind of in love with them. Maybe I’m just destined to never find normal khaki pants that will fit me every again. Embrace the jeggings!!

I’ve also been doing a bit of this lately. I hurt my neck over the weekend. I’m blaming my hydration pack and sleeping REALLY WRONG. Rice krispie sounds were heard from my neck when I awoke and then pain that rivaled labor exploded on the left side of my neck. It was BAD. The solution appeared to be muscle relaxer (I’m floating!), my trusty microwave heat pack, and a dog in my lap. Neck pain cured…after about 72 hours of resting.

So that’s my exciting life. I promise to blog more once I figure out how to balance this crazy schedule of mine. Yeah yeah…promises promises!